Minister launches Friends of Hugh O’Flaherty Society

Minister launches Friends of Hugh O'Flaherty Society

On Saturday 14th May at the Malton Hotel, Killarney, Mr Jimmy Deenihan, TD, Minister of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht launched a new fundraising initiative in memory of the great Humanitarian and Kerryman, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty. The launch was an official call out for Friends of the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society, to help raise funds for a permanent memorial to the Monsignor in Killarney town centre and, to continue to commemorate his humanitarian deeds through the awarding of the annual Hugh O’Flaherty International Humanitarian Award and by promoting his story in various art forms.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Deenihan said: “Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty was a man of great humanity and courage, qualities he demonstrated throughout his life, but never more so than in Rome during the Second World War. During this period, he helped over six and a half thousand people escape the tyranny that controlled Italy at the time. This fundraising initiative endeavours to have a permanent memorial to the Monsignor erected here in his hometown of Killarney. Such a memorial would be an ideal way of ensuring that future generations will be aware of the great bravery, commitment and determination the Monsignor displayed throughout his illustrious career”.

In exchange for a donation of €50 or more, contributors will be enrolled as “Friends of The Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society” and their names and chosen dedication will be permanently included in the website. They will also receive a memorial lapel pin, inscribed with the Monsignors profound phrase, i.e., “God Has No Country”. At the annual Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Weekend last November, plans were announced for a permanent memorial to the Monsignor in Killarney Town. Following 25 submissions from artists throughout Europe, Alan Ryan Halls sculpture of the Monsignor striding across St Peter’s Square in Rome, was chosen. Cllr Hugh Courtney, Chairman of the Memorial Committee stated “Today we are delighted to have so many family and friends of the Monsignor gathered today to launch this fundraising initiative and we are especially honoured to have Dr Veronica Dunne – the Monsignor’s great friend joining us to mark the occasion.” “We are also so grateful to our new Minister, Mr Jimmy Deenihan for the support and interest he has shown to the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society and honoured that he was able to take time out of his busy schedule to launch the initiative today for us.”

 Also lending his support to the event was Killarney Town Mayor, Cllr Donal Grady as were other members of Killarney Town Council.In addition to the Friends of Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society initiative, the Memorial Committee will also be seeking to secure up to 20 additional Patrons who will make a substantial contribution to the Memorial Project. They will receive a limited edition; beautifully crafted Maquette by the artist Valentia based sculptor, Alan Ryan Hall.

At the launch the Minister also acknowledged Dr Veronica Dunne as the first Patron of the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society by presenting her with one of the Maquettes.  Also presented with the Maquettes and acknowledged as Patrons were Hugh O’Flaherty and Pearl Dineen, the Monsignors nephew and niece, the Courtney family in memory of Michael Courtney RIP, former Chairman of the Memorial Committee and Michael Hegarty a staunch supporter of the Memorial project since it was first launched. For further information on Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty and the new fundraising initiative please visit

Share the News:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis ultricies nec